FLA Logo 300x

News

Ways to connect

  • Talk to local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members about what kind of relationships they would like to have with the Council and the role they see for language in that relationship.
  • Use Gambay as a stimulus to link with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and talk about their connections to country and languages across Australia.
  • Consider creative ways to allow people the opportunities to share their knowledge, stories and languages. For example, engaging language workers to visit the Council regularly, encouraging regional participation in national language activities such as Marrin Gamu (marringamu.com.au) and This Place (abc.net.au/thisplace), and displaying a languages map in a prominent place in the Council building where employees and community can see and engage with it.

Things to consider

  • Do your own research and find out what you can about the local languages situation in your area. 
  • Find out about past policies and practices and how they have impacted on Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples and their languages in the local area / region / state. Consider their ongoing impact.
  • Language can be a sensitive issue for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, particularly for those who have been dispossessed of their country, their language and their families. Be aware of communicating in respectful ways.
  • Give people time to think, reflect and discuss the ideas about language in terms of our complex shared histories. It may take many discussions before you come to a shared understanding about the language situation in your local area.
  • Recognise and value the oral traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. These languages may not be written down but they hold a wealth of information about, and specific to, your region. 
  • It is important to recognise that payment for language services may be appropriate.

If you have trouble finding an appropriate point of contact in your region, or have questions not answered here, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.

New course unit: Language Centre Management

As part of the Associate Degree of Indigenous Languages and Linguistics and Bachelor of Indigenous Languages and Linguistics offered by CDU in partnership with Batchelor, we have developed a new unit called Language Centre Management which will be on offer from Semester 2, 2019.

Batchelor would appreciate it if language centres could review the unit outline and provide feedback. You may add your comments directly to the document.

Please send your comments and feedback to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or call her on 08 8946 6028 to discuss the details, by the 24th of May 2019.

International funding for master-apprentice type activities

We have received the below message from Halay Turning Heart of Yuchi Language Project in the US.

Halay has provided a draft application form which can be downloaded here, though the official Request for Proposals has not been published yet and the final application may be updated slightly.

Once the RFP is published the deadline will be short so Halay would like to make contact with prospective groups in advance. If after reading that application form you are interested in applying [please email Halay directly](mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Further details are summarised in the email below.

Read more: International funding for master-apprentice type activities

Language, dialect, group, creole...what do these terms mean?

First languages Australia recommends using the term 'language' for all language varieties rather than attempting to capture the relationship of one language to another through use of a linguistic term.

Each of Australia's more than 700 languages has its own characteristics with which speakers of the language can distinguish their language/s from those of their neighbours. We recommend against using linguistic terms such as 'dialect' and 'creole' as they can inaccurately imply simplicity and lower status.

Read more: Language, dialect, group, creole...what do these terms mean?

International Year of Indigenous Languages

iyil19 logo       logo en 

 

It is through language that we communicate with the world, define our identity, express our history and culture, learn, defend our human rights and participate in all aspects of society, to name but a few.

Through language, people preserve their community’s history, customs and traditions, memory, unique modes of thinking, meaning and expression.  They also use it to construct their future. Language is pivotal in the areas of human rights protection, good governance, peace building, reconciliation, and sustainable development.

A person’s right to use his or her chosen language is a prerequisite for freedom of thought, opinion and expression, access to education and information, employment, building inclusive societies, and other values enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

Read more: International Year of Indigenous Languages

Guide for reporters

To help improve the coverage of Indigenous languages and language activities, First Languages Australia is soon to publish “Notes to assist reporting on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages”. 

The notes recommend that reporters find a language worker, or other relevant local Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander contact, to provide expert guidance and have a voice in any first language story being published. 

For stories about a specific language or region, the notes recommend contacting a regional language centre or local program to find a suitable contact.

The draft notes can be downloaded here. We are asking language centres and programs to read through the draft and send us feedback by the end of March 2019.

New, improved, Gambay: First Languages Map

Press release for International Mother Language Day–21 February 2019

In acknowledgement of International Mother Language Day 2019, First Languages Australia is celebrating the relaunch of Gambay: First Languages Map.

www.gambay.com.au

First Languages Australia manager, Faith Baisden says, “Gambay highlights over 700 languages, many of which are grouped by colour to support the sharing of resources between related languages.”

“In collaboration with local community members extensive teachers’ notes have been compiled to encourage schools to teach about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages across curriculum areas.”

“Over the past few months, Gambay has undergone significant development to improve a range of functions...”

Read more: New, improved, Gambay: First Languages Map

Language programs map

To help the media, and others, make direct contact with language workers, First Languages Australia is publishing a map of language programs.

We are asking all language centres and programs to check their contact details are correct on the web map at this link, and also the DRAFT PDF.

We would also like to hear of any additional programs that would like to be added.

Language programs map February 2019

Federal Government Interdepartmental Meeting to address national action on languages

First Languages Australia will address an Interdepartmental Meeting in Canberra on the 12th December, to bring into focus the responsibilities of all strands of government to support languages within their portfolios. This meeting has been coordinated at the request of First Languages Australia, with the support of the Indigenous Languages and Arts Program team. It will include the presentation to the government of a range of key issues raised by language centres and network members at meetings over the past eighteen months.

The meeting will be an opportunity to build awareness of:
* the need for increased and committed ongoing federal funding for languages;
* the importance of legislation to protect the rights of first languages speakers;
* the responsibility and role that each Department has regarding Indigenous languages and their communities;
* the benefits (social, financial and cultural) that come with increased connection with first languages; and
* specific actions each Department can take to embed and support language as core to their work.

Send us your Language Legend clips for gambay.com.au

First Languages Australia has developed an interactive map to display and promote the diversity of Australia's Aboriginal languages and Torres Strait Islander languages. The map is called Gambay, which means 'together' in the Butchulla language of the Hervey Bay region in Queensland. Gambay is the first Australian map to allow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities control over the way their languages are publicly represented.

The 'person' icons on map dots represent Language Legend clips. These short videos allow language workers and advocates to personally explain the importance of their language/s and demonstrate their passion and dedication to their revival or strength.

The videos are moving expressions of the diversity of Australia's languages, their present endangerment status, and the dreams and achievements of individuals. They provide an opportunity for the public to meet language workers from their regions and learn about the language activities they are involved in, as a bridge to cross-cultural understanding.

So far the map has a collection of over 250 clips, with limitless room for your stories.

You can help to build the collection by contributing short videos of your language legends following the instructions in the above video.

Guide for reporting on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language communities, peoples and projects

In the coming months, First Languages Australia will be working on a guide to help educate journalists on how to better report on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and language issues. The guide will build on the comprehensive information in the Handbook for Reporting on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People and Issues released by Media Diversity Australia in July this year.

FLA is collating ideas from the network and media partners to improve language news stories into the future. As part of this process, we are interested in [receiving examples](mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) of:
* reporting that has concerned you and the specific changes you would make to improve the reporting, and
* stories written by journalists that you feel demonstrate exceptional reporting on language activities and issues.

Yaale – Tools for language work

MLT Visit3

In July 2018, Annalee Pope and Carolyn Barker from First Languages Australia, together with Steven Bird from Charles Darwin University, visited the Mobile Language Team in Adelaide to look at the various tools they are using in their work with language groups across South Australia. The Mobile Language Team have many innovative activities underway, primarily focused on creating environments where community members can talk with each other in language. Of particular interest, were their processes of collaboratively creating learning materials to support weekly community classes held at great distances from each other.

Read more: Yaale – Tools for language work

International Year of Indigenous Languages

IYIL2019

"Language is pivotal in the areas of human rights protection, good governance, peace building, reconciliation, and sustainable development...It is for these reasons and others that the United Nations chose to dedicate a whole year to indigenous languages, to encourage urgent action to preserve, revitalize and promote them." UNHCR

2019 will be a huge year for language centres and programs across Australia as the call is made for action from government, partners and our communities to see our languages taking their rightful place in the social, cultural and political structure of this country into the future. First Languages Australia is looking forward to coordinating a number of major activities and actions to coincide with the international events, with Manager Faith Baisden taking a role on the stakeholder group for the United Nations 2019 

(IY2019).

You can participate in the international movement by adding your local events and activities to the UNHCR event site.

2019-20 Indigenous Languages and Arts (ILA) program

The Department of Communications and the Arts is pleased to announce that the 2019-20 Indigenous Languages and Arts (ILA) program grant opportunity is now open.

The ILA program provides funding for projects and organisations that support participation in, and maintenance of, Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and arts. Further information can be found on the Department of Communications website at: [https://www.arts.gov.au/funding-and-support/indigenous-languages-and-arts-program](https://www.arts.gov.au/funding-and-support/indigenous-languages-and-arts-program)

Contact us

Phone  +61 2 4940 9144  or  1300 975 246
 
Visit  2 Milton St, Hamilton, NSW, 2303
Post PO Box 74, Hamilton, NSW 2303

Learn more

  • Join First Languages Australia's network +

    You can assist in the work of First Languages Australia by becoming an active member of our network. Collectively, First Read More
  • Australia’s first languages +

    Australia’s First Languages are a wonderful and precious resource. Australia is situated in one of the world’s linguistic hot spots. Read More
  • Why maintain our languages? +

    There are many reasons to maintain Australia's first languages. Chapter 3 of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Social Justice Report Read More
  • 1